Ex-FBI Director Heads Trump-Russia Inquiry

Nick Mcbride
May 20, 2017

Last week, a memo drafted by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was held up by the White House as justification for the firing of Comey, who had been leading the investigation.

"(Rosenstein) did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", McCaskill said. He ultimately produced a 150-page report clearing then-Attorney General Janet Reno and other top government officials of any responsibility.

The president's tweets and comments to the TV anchors drew little reaction from fellow Republicans, who instead joined Democrats in heaping praise on Mueller, a longtime respected lawman who served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, preceding Comey as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

White House officials such press secretary Sean Spicer had said as recently as Tuesday there was no need for a special counsel. "When I made that decision I actually thought it would be a bipartisan decision because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such bad thing about Director Comey".

The memo, on the heels of Trump's abrupt firing of Comey last week, fueled accusations by lawmakers of possible obstruction of justice and calls for an independent prosecutor to oversee the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the presidential campaign.

President Trump has insisted he is not the one under investigation, but that could easily change.

"It's a possible wrinkle in all off this", said Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor and former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.

Dershowitz argued Mueller's appointment would benefit Trump given that "collaborating with the Russians" to get elected wasn't illegal and Mueller's role would be to investigate illegalities.

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"That's what I want to see, and I'm sure that's what the president wants to see is this brought to a conclusion, because it's been a steady drip, drip, drip since he's taken the oath of office", Blum said in the Fox Business interview.

Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump strongly disagreed. The appointment, he said in a briefing with news anchors, "hurts our country terribly".

But despite such frustrations, members agreed that Rosenstein had received a warm reception from both Republicans and Democrats at the meeting, a development that they said showed not only praise for his selection of Mueller to oversee the probe but also a recognition that Republican resistance to an independent probe was futile.

"I hope you can let this go", Comey wrote, quoting Trump in the document, which CNN has not viewed but which was described by the sources. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited this memo in a letter to Trump recommending he fire Comey. Rosenstein's "got the power to do it and you have to accept it and it doesn't matter what we think". "My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said. The Justice Department on May 17, 2017, appointed Mueller as a special counsel to over. But he added, "I wrote it".

The memo focused on Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, particularly the FBI director's decision to divulge details to the public at various junctures during her presidential campaign against Trump.

Trump called talk of potential criminal charges or impeachment "totally ridiculous".

Other reports by VgToday

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